Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nothing Days are Productive Days

I recently had a day where I did nothing.  The entire day passed with reasonable activity but nothing I would have remotely classified as an accomplishment. Read a novel, walked my dog, went for a run, shopped for a new recipe I wanted to make. I had fun that day, no doubt about it but when it was over I had a sense that I had wasted it.

So how do we determine what is a productive day and what is not a productive day. Is it a list item that gets ticked off the never ending list?  Is there a monetary association with anything that gets classified as productive? As in, if I did not make money then it was not a productive day? Maybe it involves moving a project forward in a significant way. But this one leaves us open to believing that we did not accomplish anything, if we tried something new, but it did not work out.

Sometimes there is a monetary association with accomplishing something.  This is easy to classify as an accomplishment.  I went to work and made $$ so I accomplished something today.  What about exercising?  I went for a run or worked out and so I accomplished something today. Those are easy.

What if we redefined a productive day as one which allowed us to heal our mind and our body?  Then a whole other group of activities suddenly become relevant. In that logic do our workday activities then qualify as part of a productive day?  Probably not. 

Does sitting by the fire reading a great book qualify as an accomplishment?  You bet. Taking a long walk on a sunny breezy day also qualifies as an accomplishment if our goal is to heal our mind and body.  Creating healthy food qualifies as an accomplishment. Spending time with those you love becomes an accomplishment rather than something that gets squeezed in on the list. Trying something new, regardless of the result, becomes an activity worth pursuing.

There is no doubt that going to work and doing other things that we don't prefer needs to be done. But if we start with the definition of a productive day as one that heals our body and our mind then it can inspire all kinds of healing activities to hit the list. Getting more done at work takes a second place to a walking break in the middle of the day.

We need to know that healing days are not wasteful days. Idle times refresh our souls. Time spent doing things that nourish our souls, helps us to expand and grow.  And in this growth we become more than we were.  And more than we thought we could be.

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